Your Handy Guide to Hummus Alternatives

Have you heard about the recent listeria outbreak? This week Trader Joe’s and Target issued a voluntary recall of several products after a lab found the organism Listeria monocytogenes in a sampling of their hummus and dips. Listeria can cause flu-like infections and is particularly dangerous to those with already compromised immune systems, especially young children, the elderly, and pregnant women. Yikes!

This recent recall has inspired me to get out of the supermarket and into the kitchen to whip up a few alternative dips. And given the long weekend and the probability of having friends over, there’s no better time for a round-up of my favorite chickpea and hummus-free dip-able delectables [say that four times fast!].  So, pull out your food processor and join me in the kitchen…

White Bean and Whipped Ricotta Ingredients:

1 15-oz can white beans, rinsed and drained

1 15-oz container whole milk ricotta

¼ cup olive oil

1 garlic glove, peeled

1 tsp kosher salt

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

¼ tsp red pepper flakes


  1. In a food processor blend the first four ingredients until smooth, and garlic is fully incorporated
  2. Gently fold seasonings into mixture and taste, adding more red pepper flakes for heat, if desired
  3. Serve with crackers, pita bread, or fresh vegetables

Vegan Cilantro Pesto


1 large bunch cilantro, washed and patted dry

½ cup raw unsalted almonds or cashews

¼ cup olive

1 lime, juiced

½ tsp kosher salt

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

¼ tsp red pepper flakes [optional]


  1. In a heavy bottomed pan, toast almonds [or cashews] over medium heat until fragrant and warm
  2. In a food processor, pulse cilantro [leaves and stems] and toasted almonds until combined
  3. Add olive oil, lime juice, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, continue to combine
  4. Serve with pretzels or crackers [or turn up the volume and pair this with the white bean and whipped ricotta]



2 ripe avocados, halved and pitted

2 limes, juiced

½ medium red onion, finely chopped

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered

1 tbsp chopped cilantro

1 tsp kosher salt


  1. Remove the flesh of each halved avocado by running a spoon around the perimeter of the fruit, place in a large bowl
  2. Mash avocado then add lime juice, red onion, tomatoes, cilantro and salt, mix gently to combine
  3. Refrigerate or serve immediately with tortilla chips or as a veggie or hamburger topping

Vegetarian Pate


1 cup sundried tomatoes

¼ cup capers, drained

1 avocado

1 tbsp olive oil [if desired]

salt [optional]*


  1. In a food processor, pulse sundried tomatoes, capers and avocado until the mixture resembles small pebbles
  2. If dry, add olive oil and stir by hand to combine
  3. Serve on whole grain crackers with cheese or additional avocado

*capers are salty due to the brine they are packaged in, so be judicious with your seasoning and be sure you taste before adding additional salt.

Which is your favorite? We’d love to hear from you if you try any of these recipes at home!